"I definitely think it's reached a point where the integrity of the game is starting to come into question, but it's also risking the safety of the players because we're very close to getting a bench-clearing brawl,” said Jerome Bettis.
Nashville, TN (PRWEB) September 26, 2012
After the controversial call during the NFL’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, the topic of replacement referees has reached an all-time high. Current and former NFL players are speaking out via their social media outlet, SOTL.com. A player poll taken this week asked if the NFL’s failure to resolve the officials’ lockout is putting players’ safety at risk and an overwhelming 86% say yes (at the time of this release).
SOTL.com is an official social media partner of the NFL Players Association and serves as "The Voice of the Players”™ with more than 2,500 current and former players contributing to the site. The poll is considered a landmark opportunity for players to be heard as it relates to the NFL news.
Former Super Bowl Champion, Jerome Bettis, shared his thoughts on the matter.
"I definitely think it's reached a point where the integrity of the game is starting to come into question, but it's also risking the safety of the players because we're very close to getting a bench-clearing brawl,” said Bettis. “If we can't get it settled soon, we're really in danger of having a full-blown incident."
In a statement to players yesterday, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith stated:
“The decision by the NFL owners to lock out the referees jeopardizes your health and safety. This decision to remove more than 1,500 years of collective experience has simply made the workplace less safe. It is the NFL’s duty to provide a workplace that is as safe as possible. The League will want fans, the media and sponsors to talk only about ‘the product’ on the field. We are not product. While the focus today is about a blown call and the outcome of one football game, our focus as a family of players is and will remain squarely on workplace safety. Contrary to some reports, we are not crossing any picket line. The referees are not on strike. The Owners locked them out. We are actively reviewing any and all possible actions to protect you.”
NFL Legend Barry Sanders also weighed in on the topic.
"I see both sides of the issue,” says Sanders. “No question that there is an integrity problem and injury risk with the current situation that is unacceptable. That being said, I understand that NFL has been tremendously successful, and that the officials must be asking for things that could jeopardize the game in the same, or in a different fashion, in the future."
In an open letter to the owners last week, the NFLPA Executive Committee stated:
“As we predicted and explained to you weeks ago, the removal of the veteran officials from regular season games left a group of your replacements who have proved to be incapable of keeping pace with the speed of the game. Coaches and players have complained of numerous errors and failures including: erratic and missed calls on egregious holds and hits, increased skirmishes between players and confusion about game rules. Many replacements have lost control of games due to inexperience and unfamiliarity with players and rules.”
Current NFL players such as Calais Campbell and Daryn Colledge (Cardinals), DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) join retired players Cato June, John Hannah, Lincoln Kennedy and Gary Anderson in posting their own comments about the issue on the site. For all player comments, news and perspectives, visit http://www.SOTL.com.
More About School of the Legends / SOTL.com
SOTL.com was founded in 2009 as the official social media partner of the NFL Players Association and serves as "The Voice of the Players”™ with more than 2,500 current and former players contributing to the site. SOTL.com features weekly football and lifestyle blogs by dozens of NFL players and alumni, including Jerome Bettis, Barry Sanders, Patrick Peterson, Will Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Cliff Avril and others. SOTL.com is the player’s site where they comment directly on football news stories of the day and contribute to exclusive player polls that give fans their perspective on the league’s most important issues.
The sister site, SOTLTraining.com, is the largest online source for football training classes with the instructional video series “Legends in Training” that feature players such as Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez to name a few as well as instruction from professional coaches and trainers. SOTL.com and SOTLTraining.com are officially licensed partners of NFL Players Inc.